Dog Brothers Public Forum


Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
February 08, 2016, 09:45:18 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
92603 Posts in 2299 Topics by 1080 Members
Latest Member: Tedbo
* Home Help Search Login Register
  Show Posts
Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6 7 ... 716
201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Family kills 16 year old daughter for being raped on: January 25, 2016, 11:20:06 AM
202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Essay sheds light on issues in Oregon on: January 25, 2016, 11:16:32 AM
The perspective from which this is written speaks for itself.

When fellow travelers like this are telling the Oregon intervenors they are wrong in these terms,  , , ,
203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris on: January 25, 2016, 03:02:34 AM
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rules of the Road/Fire Hydrant on: January 25, 2016, 02:59:32 AM

Back from Memphis  cool

205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The noose tightens a bit more , , , 7.0 on: January 22, 2016, 11:36:47 AM
206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: January 22, 2016, 11:11:39 AM
Threshold Requirements Will Force A Two-Way GOP Race By March 1ST
Published on on January 22, 2016
When will some of the dozen or so Republican candidates withdraw so we can focus on a two-way race and make a clear decision?

Will Rubio, Kasich, Bush, Christie, Carson, Fiorina, Huckabee, Paul, Santorum et al ever get the message and pull out?

They won't have to. The party rules will force them out, de facto, on March 1st.

On that date, 14 states will select their delegates to the national convention. A total of 701 delegates will be selected, more than two-thirds of the total needed to win the nomination. But, of these, 388 will be awarded by proportional representation with a minimum threshold to qualify for delegates. To have a shot at 298 of these delegates (including Texas' 152) a candidate will need to win at least 20 percent of the vote. Anyone falling short of that total won't get in on splitting the delegates by proportional representation.

So, if Trump gets, for example, 35 percent in a given state and Cruz gets 30 percent, they will divide the delegates proportionately. But if Rubio, Bush, Paul, Kasich, Christie and the others get less than 20 percent of the vote each, they will get no delegates at all. There is little chance of the field whittling down sufficiently for any of these candidates to break the 20 percent threshold, and certainly it would be impossible for more than one to do so.

Thus, de facto, the GOP nomination process will be a two-way race after March 1. Like a freeway that merges from a dozen lanes to two, there will be a mess of traffic and angry campaign managers, but the process is inexorable.

In Texas, there is a 20 percent threshold for the statewide at large delegates and a separate 20 percent threshold for each congressional district's delegates.

Another 90 delegates will be selected on March 1 by states with either a 15 percent or a 13 percent threshold, making a two-way race in these states somewhat likely.

On March 5 and March 8, 93 more delegates will be selected in 20 percent threshold states and another 81 from 15 percent threshold states.

So, by March 8, 562 delegates will have been chosen by proportional representation from states with 15 percent or 20 percent threshold requirements -- for all practical purposes high enough to keep all but two candidates out.

Over the same period, 370 delegates will be selected in states with low or no thresholds. There would be no bar to Rubio, Bush, Kasich, Christie or Paul getting at least a slice of these delegates, but so will Trump and Cruz. Combined, the Trump and Cruz vote totals from these states and from the high threshold states will likely be so high that the small number of delegates these candidates might win in low or no threshold states will not matter much in the final outcome.

And then come the winner take all primaries beginning with Florida, Missouri, and Ohio on March 15th. These will deal the final deathblow to all other candidates (especially to Bush and Rubio should they lose Florida).

A by-product of forcing a two-way race at the outset is that the nominee will likely be known by March 16th. We will have a pretty clear idea of who will win by then.

207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / National Review against Trump on: January 22, 2016, 09:17:15 AM
208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: January 22, 2016, 02:47:46 AM
That is not what he is. 

He does serious due diligence in companies he believes in, reads stock charts, and buys and sells accordingly.   
209  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Stratfor: consequences of low oil prices for Mexico on: January 21, 2016, 10:06:47 PM

Mexican Security: The True Casualty of Low Oil Prices
January 21, 2016 | 09:16 GMT Print
Text Size
A drilling tower of an exploration oil rig working for Mexico's state-owned oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), in the Gulf of Mexico. (OMAR TORRES/AFP/Getty Images)

    As global oil prices fall, Mexico may have to make cuts to sensitive areas, including to security funding, which would delay essential anti-crime reforms.
    The manufacturing sector, which primarily supplies the United States, will remain crucial to future economic growth.
    Increasing energy trade between the United States and Mexico will make energy supply in Mexico more reliable, contributing to growth in the Mexican manufacturing sector.


Mexico has long had a privileged position in Latin America. Its proximity to the United States — the largest consumer economy in the world — has contributed to the growth of a robust domestic manufacturing industry, which has become the bedrock of the Mexican economy. Manufacturing has made Mexico the third-largest U.S. trading partner and has propelled its economy to the rank of second largest in Latin America. Still, as in all oil-producing countries, the drop in global oil prices will hurt the country's financial position, possibly jeopardizing its security reforms. But overall, the country will manage the price drop relatively well.

Despite relatively low growth compared to previous years, Mexico will continue to make economic progress and will lead in regional manufacturing for the foreseeable future, largely because of its close economic ties to the United States. Nearly 80 percent of Mexican exports are destined for U.S. markets, and almost half of these exports are higher-value products, such as vehicles and electronic goods. Manufacturing growth is sustained by rising natural gas flows from the United States, which have propelled the rapid expansion of Mexico's electric grid by making energy availability more reliable.

Unsurprisingly, the commercial linkages created between the two countries over the decades, particularly since the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, have also accelerated capital flows into the country. Mexico received about $28.5 billion in foreign direct investment in 2015. The same year, remittances from Mexican nationals working in the United States totaled nearly $22 billion — the most since 2009. During the current Mexican president's term, the country has also opened additional avenues for foreign investment into sectors formerly closed to large inflows of foreign capital, and it has made major changes to its regulatory regime in the hydrocarbons and electricity sectors to break state monopolies, many of which have become costly and uncompetitive.

But Mexico's public finances are still strained, the victim of the steady decline of the price of oil and the taxes oil generates, which has reduced government income and forced Mexico City to find options for covering the budgetary shortfall. Its economic and energy reforms will not have tangible benefits for several years as well. For now, the financial burden posed by the two state enterprises that dominate the energy and electricity sectors — Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and the Federal Electricity Commission, respectively — will remain. Pemex reported a loss of some $10 billion in the third quarter of 2015 — a bleeding of revenue that is expected to continue as oil prices drop even further. It is clear: No matter Mexico City's past prudence, if oil prices stay low, they will eventually hurt the government's bottom line.

Still, Mexico has enough revenue that any future challenges will not pose an existential threat to the country's financial stability. Its already healthy manufacturing base will expand to fulfill steadily rising U.S. consumer demand. Moreover, because of an oil hedge secured last year, Mexico's oil exports for 2016 are guaranteed at $49 a barrel — well above current prices. But the hedge is not permanent insurance. If oil prices remain low, any future hedge will likely be lower, reducing oil revenue further. Stripped of that revenue, which accounts for 20 percent of the federal government's income, Mexico City will be forced to find ways to make up the difference, selling debt abroad or even auctioning assets from state-owned enterprises, including Pemex.

Any challenges the government faces in the near term will arise not from acute political or economic instability, but from making these unpopular decisions to remain solvent. Mexico City could even cut security spending further, which would delay key parts of its security plan. Some security cuts have already been made: Federal security funding to states was cut by $160 million in 2016 — nearly a fifth of the total the year before. If more funding is cut, it could harm Mexico City's attempts to create lower-level institutions to deal with insecurity, an important component of the long-term security strategy to shift from using the army and federal police to deal with crime. It is increasingly unlikely that the federal budget will create additional forces anytime soon, even on the national level.

Overall, Mexico's next few years will be quite bright. Its economy will continue benefiting from foreign investment to fund manufacturing initiatives to supply the U.S. domestic market. The growing energy trade between the United States and Mexico will also ensure secure electricity supply that will further drive manufacturing growth. But security concerns will persist, as funding for anti-crime measures becomes less reliable.
210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: January 21, 2016, 09:36:21 PM
I get my riff about "profit, not prophet" from David.  He reads charts in a high IQ one-of-a-kind way.  Track record includes many extraordinary calls.
211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Turk forces into Syria? on: January 21, 2016, 09:30:57 PM
reliability unknown
212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: January 21, 2016, 08:29:21 PM
Again I say it-- Rubio misses a great opportunity by failing to call himself the front runner.

IMO Trump is truly sliming Cruz on the loans, which WERE reported, only not to all the necessary bureaucracies, and on the birther issue. Trump goes pure cronyism on the ethanol while Cruz stands true.  Trump does a driveby with his tax proposal, not defending it after releasing it while Cruz has Art Laffer design his and he explains and defends it well.  Trump supported TARP.  Cruz did not.  Cruz makes all the right enemies by standing up to the Washington Cartel only to have Trump criticize him for "not getting along".  Are you kidding me?!?

I sent Cruz $50 today, my biggest donation to anyone yet.
213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: January 21, 2016, 08:24:30 PM
Hard to explain what David does, but those of us who know him always pay attention when he speaks.
214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: January 21, 2016, 05:06:19 PM
That is correct.  Trump is for ethanol subsidies-- which are quite popular in Iowa, and Cruz has the character to stand against them.
215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: January 21, 2016, 05:05:08 PM
Amen to that.
216  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Memphis this weekend (1/23-24/16 on: January 21, 2016, 04:52:11 PM
217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: January 21, 2016, 01:51:37 PM
That would include one Donald Trump but exclude on Ted Cruz.
218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: January 21, 2016, 01:44:15 PM
Wrong thread for this gents.  Perhaps Political Economics or Bureaucracy in Action or , , , but not this thread.
219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: January 21, 2016, 01:42:15 PM
FWIW David Gordon, a name known to some here, is confident that we are not in the middle of another 2008.
220  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Tragedies strike Filipino boxers on: January 21, 2016, 09:10:18 AM
Following up on article from 5 days ago
221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: January 21, 2016, 12:03:45 AM
Which overlaps the SHOT Show, but I'm guessing that is of lesser interest to him , , ,
222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Money bombed leads to 50% pay cut on: January 21, 2016, 12:02:25 AM
The Islamic State

Tighten your suicide belts, Islamic State, austerity is coming to the caliphate. A memo from the Islamic State's bureaucratic powers that be has warned fighters that they're going to get a 50 percent pay cut across all positions "on account of the exceptional circumstances the Islamic State is facing." What, specifically, "exceptional circumstances" refers to remains unclear but the U.S. recently bombed a cash distribution facility owned by the group, blowing up millions of dollars of the Islamic State's cash.

The Islamic State released its English language magazine, Dabiq, on Tuesday, including a eulogy confirming the death of notorious executioner Mohammed "Jihadi John" Emwazi in a November 2015 U.S. drone strike. Emwazi gained infamy for murdering reporters and aid workers in a series of savage beheading videos released by the group on the Internet.
223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Not a Trump fan , , , on: January 20, 2016, 09:31:45 PM
224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Against court order, IRS wipes hard drive on: January 20, 2016, 09:29:59 PM
225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Putin's welcome mat for emmigrating Jews on: January 20, 2016, 09:27:53 PM
I did not see this coming , , ,
226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio on: January 20, 2016, 09:19:56 PM
Very bad for Rubio that Trump is way ahead in Florida.
227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hating Americans is official Saudi and Qatari policy on: January 20, 2016, 06:55:26 PM

Hating Americans Is Official Saudi and Qatari Policy
by Raymond Ibrahim
The Daily Caller
January 18, 2016

Jihadi hate for non-Muslims is not limited to the Islamic State, which U.S. leadership dismisses as neither a real state nor representative of Islam. Rather, it's the official position of, among others, Saudi Arabia — a very real state, birthplace of Islam, and, of course, "friend and ally" of America.
Saudi Arabia's Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Issuing Fatwas — which issues religious decrees that become law — issued a fatwa, or decree, titled, "Duty to Hate Jews, Polytheists, and Other Infidels." Written by Sheikh Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz (d. 1999), former grand mufti and highest religious authority in the government, it still appears on the website.

According to this governmentally-supported fatwa, Muslims — that is, the entire Saudi citizenry — must "oppose and hate whomever Allah commands us to oppose and hate, including the Jews, the Christians, and other mushrikin [non-Muslims], until they believe in Allah alone and abide by his laws, which he sent down to his Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him."

To prove this, Baz quotes a number of Koran verses that form the doctrine of Loyalty and Enmity — the same doctrine every Sunni jihadi organization evokes to the point of concluding that Muslim men must hate their Christian or Jewish wives (though they may enjoy them sexually).

These Koran verses include: "Do not take the Jews and the Christians for your friends and allies" (5:51) and "You shall find none who believe in Allah and the Last Day on friendly terms with those who oppose Allah and His Messenger [i.e., non-Muslims] — even if they be their fathers, their sons, their brothers, or their nearest kindred" (58:22; see also 3:28, 60:4, 2:120).

After quoting the verses, Baz reiterates:

Such verses are many and offer clear proofs concerning the obligation to despise infidels from the Jews, Christians, and all other non-Muslims, as well as the obligation to oppose them until they believe in Allah alone.

Sheikh Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz

Despite documenting its official hatred for all non-Muslims (albeit on a website virtually unknown in the West), in the international arena, Saudi Arabia claims "to support the principles of justice, humanity, promotion of values and the principles of tolerance in the world," and sometimes accuses the West for its supposed "discrimination based on religion."
Such hypocrisy is manifest everywhere and explains how the Saudi government's official policy can be to hate Christians and Jews — children are taught to ritually curse them in grade school — while its leading men fund things like Georgetown University's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (the real purpose of which appears to be to fund influential "Christian" academics to whitewash Islam before the public).

Our other "good friend and ally," Qatar, also officially documents its hate for every non-Muslim — or practically 100 percent of America's population. A website owned by the Qatari Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs published a fatwa titled "The Obligation of Hating Infidels, Being Clean of Them, and Not Befriending Them."

Along with citing the usual Loyalty and Enmity verses, the fatwa adds that Christians should be especially hated because they believe that God is one of three (Trinity), that Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified and resurrected for the sins of mankind — all cardinal doctrines of Christianity that are vehemently lambasted in the Koran (see 5:72-81).

Incidentally, this same Qatari government-owned website once published a fatwa legitimizing the burning of "infidels" — only to remove it soon after the Islamic State justified its burning of a Jordanian pilot by citing several arguments from the fatwa.
In short, it's not this or that "radical," who "doesn't represent Islam," or isn't a "real state," that hates non-Muslim "infidels." Rather, it's the official position of the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which are presented to the American public as "friends and allies."

Thus, as American talking heads express their "moral outrage" at Donald Trump's call "for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on," perhaps they should first consider the official position of foreign Muslim governments — beginning with U.S. "friends and allies" — concerning Americans: unmitigated hate and opposition "until they believe in Allah alone and abide by his laws."
228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: January 20, 2016, 06:28:11 PM
Gutfield riffed today about Bill servicing the females and Hillary' server and the emails , , , or something like that  cheesy
229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Even CNN is reporting this now , , , on: January 20, 2016, 04:25:42 PM
230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: January 20, 2016, 04:19:29 PM
If Hillary Loses
Published on on January 19, 2016
The contrast between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, startlingly evident in their debate Sunday night, could not be clearer. While devotees of the establishment can tell themselves that Clinton held her own, it is clear she did not.

Sanders had all the passion, anger, force and emotion on his side, and the best Clinton could do was to try to keep it in the park as her rival hit ball after ball. Since primaries are about motivation in getting out the vote, the Vermont senator has it all over Clinton.

So what happens if she:

(a) loses Iowa;

(b) loses New Hampshire;

(c) falls behind Sanders in the national polls and Donald Trump or Ted Cruz in the head-to-heads?

The Democratic howls of concern will be deafening. "She's blowing it again," will be the least of what they will say. Democrats will feel trapped with a candidate who is showing before their eyes that she cannot even win a primary, much less a general election.

Some will worry that Sanders, should he be nominated, will be as weak a candidate as George McGovern was in 1972 or Barry Goldwater proved to be in 1964. Others will think that Clinton might skate through with the aid of superdelegates, setting up a replay of 1968 with Sanders winning the primaries and the party bosses nominating Clinton.

All Democrats will be looking frantically for a way out.

Meanwhile, the FBI will amass evidence that the former secretary of State acted illegally in sending or receiving classified material over a non-secure email server. And it will investigate the uncomfortably close nexus between donations to the Clinton Foundation, speaking fees to the Clintons and State Department actions.

In the end, the decision as to whether to indict a presidential candidate in the middle of an election will rest with the Justice Department and, indirectly, with the president.

If Clinton is cruising to the nomination, winning the primaries and running well against her likely Republican opponent, they will likely decide that indicting her would be an undue interference with the political process.

But if Sanders does his job and the race is close and Clinton is behind her general election challenger, then all bets are off.

There will be a frantic scramble to head off the certain defeat that would come either through nominating Bernie Sanders or a badly beaten up Hillary Clinton. Because of the lateness of the hour, no new candidate could qualify delegates to form slates in the primary states. The pressure will grow on Clinton to withdraw and release her delegate slates to another candidate: Joe Biden. Should she refuse, the chances of her indictment -- or the threat of it -- might increase.

The party could try to get Martin O'Malley to turn his delegates into Biden slates. Or the Democrats could do worse than to nominate O'Malley.

All is possible in a post-Clinton world.

To make matters worse for Clinton, the former secretary stupidly boxed herself in on ObamaCare. Trying to frame Sanders's "Medicare for All" alternative as "starting over," she pleaded for staying with ObamaCare rather than making a new departure. In doing so, she opened herself up to an attack on the issue.

Now, anyone who feels that premiums are too high, deductibles too large and co-payments too expensive -- despite their overall support for the program -- has to see Sanders as offering a hope of improvement and Clinton as being wed to the status quo. Her argument -- that we should build on ObamaCare rather than start over -- is the kind of inside-the-Beltway rationalization that works well with people who are not in trouble or in pain.

The future is bleak for Mrs. Clinton.
231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NRO's Jim Geraghty: More on Operation Fast and Furious on: January 20, 2016, 02:46:45 PM
Jim Geraghty of NRO:

El Chapo’ Drug Kingpin Had a Rifle from Federal ‘Fast & Furious’ Program
The Fast and Furious gun-smuggling scandal is one of those stories that the government and the media declared over . . . that wasn’t, or isn’t, actually over.

Here’s a nice example:

A .50-caliber rifle found at Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s hideout in Mexico was funneled through the gun-smuggling investigation known as Fast and Furious, sources confirmed Tuesday to Fox News.

A .50-caliber is a massive rifle that can stop a car, or as it was intended, take down a helicopter.

After the raid on Jan. 8 in the city of Los Mochis that killed five of his men and wounded one Mexican marine, officials found a number of weapons inside the house Guzman was staying, including the rifle, officials said.

When agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives checked serial numbers of the eight weapons found in his possession, they found one of the two .50-caliber weapons traced back to the ATF program, sources said.

Also, did you remember this? I didn’t.

This week the scandal took on a new dimension with the revelation that Nadir Soofi, one of two Muslim terrorists killed attempting to murder attendees of a “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest held in Texas in May, had acquired one of the guns he owned as a result of the Fast and Furious operation. This meant that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was in the position of indirectly selling Islamic terrorists one of the weapons they may have used in an attack on Americans on American soil.

I wrote after the Inspector General’s report came out:

The inspector general’s report concludes that they can find no evidence Holder knew about Fast and Furious until well after [Border Protection Agent Brian] Terry’s death, but . . . well, the circumstances of Holder being so out of the loop, so in the dark about a major operation certainly appear unusual, perhaps to the point of straining credulity. The report states:

 “We found it troubling that a case of this magnitude and that affected Mexico so significantly was not directly briefed to the Attorney General. We would usually expect such information to come to the Attorney General through the Office of the Deputy Attorney General . . . [Holder] was not told in December 2010 about the connection between the firearms found at the scene of the shooting and Operation Fast and Furious. Both Acting Deputy Attorney General Grindler and Counsel to the Attorney General and Deputy Chief of Staff Wilkinson were aware of this significant and troubling information by December 17, 2010, but did not believe the information was sufficiently important to alert the Attorney General about it or to make any further inquiry regarding this development.”

Not “sufficiently important”? Baffling. Maddening. Some might even say, “implausible” . . .

Repeatedly, everyone under Holder seems to do everything possible to make sure he isn’t informed about an operation that, in the words of the IG report, failed “to adequately consider the risk to public safety in the United States and Mexico”. In fact, information about the program went all the way to Holder’s office -- but somehow, the memos, emails and other communications never reached the man himself. It’s as if he wasn’t there.

From the IOG report, again:

“As we describe below, we identified information regarding Operation Fast and Furious that reached the Office of the Attorney General in 2010 but not Attorney General Holder himself.”

Well. If you’re wondering if this is covered by some sort of obscure procedure or rules, it isn’t:

“[Holder] should have been informed by no later than December 17, 2010, that two firearms recovered at the Terry murder scene were linked to an ATF firearms trafficking investigation … We found that although [Holder’s then deputy-chief-of-staff Monty] Wilkinson forwarded to Holder during the afternoon of December 15 three emails from the US Attorney’s Office providing further details about the shooting and law enforcement efforts to find and arrest the suspects, he did not notify the Attorney General of the revelation that two weapons found at the murder scene were linked to a suspect in an ATF firearms trafficking investigation.”

See, this all occurred at a time when reining in out-of-control, unaccountable law-enforcement officials wasn’t a priority to the Left. It is now, but, eh, sorry, you missed the news cycle.
232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTH: House of Saud on Iran on: January 20, 2016, 02:04:04 PM
Can Iran Change?

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — THE world is watching Iran for signs of change, hoping it will evolve from a rogue revolutionary state into a respectable member of the international community. But Iran, rather than confronting the isolation it has created for itself, opts to obscure its dangerous sectarian and expansionist policies, as well as its support for terrorism, by leveling unsubstantiated charges against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

It is important to understand why Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies are committed to resisting Iranian expansion and responding forcefully to Iran’s acts of aggression.

Superficially, Iran may appear to have changed. We acknowledge Iran’s initial actions regarding the agreement to suspend its program to develop a nuclear weapon. Certainly, we know that a large segment of the Iranian population wants greater openness internally and better relations with neighboring countries and the world. But the government does not.

The Iranian government’s behavior has been consistent since the 1979 revolution. The constitution that Iran adopted states the objective of exporting the revolution. As a consequence, Iran has supported violent extremist groups, including Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen and sectarian militias in Iraq. Iran or its proxies have been blamed for terrorist attacks around the world, including the bombings of the United States Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 and the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996, and the assassinations in the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin in 1992. And by some estimates Iranian-backed forces have killed over 1,100 American troops in Iraq since 2003.

Iran uses attacks on diplomatic sites as an instrument of its foreign policy. The 1979 takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran was only the beginning. Since then, embassies of Britain, Denmark, Kuwait, France, Russia and Saudi Arabia have been attacked in Iran or abroad by Iranian proxies. Foreign diplomats and domestic political opponents have been assassinated around the world.

Hezbollah, Iran’s surrogate, tries to control Lebanon and wages war against the Syrian opposition — and in the process helps the Islamic State flourish. It is clear why Iran wants Bashar al-Assad of Syria to remain in power: In its 2014 report on terrorism, the State Department wrote that Iran views Syria “as a crucial causeway to its weapons supply route to Hezbollah.” The report also noted, citing United Nations data, that Iran provided arms, financing and training “to support the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown that has resulted in the deaths of at least 191,000 people.” The same report for 2012 noted that there was “a marked resurgence of Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism,” with Iranian and Hezbollah’s terrorist activity “reaching a tempo unseen since the 1990s.”

In Yemen, Iran’s support for the takeover of the country by the Houthi militia helped cause the war that has killed thousands.

While Iran claims its top foreign policy priority is friendship, its behavior shows the opposite is true. Iran is the single-most-belligerent-actor in the region, and its actions display both a commitment to regional hegemony and a deeply held view that conciliatory gestures signal weakness either on Iran’s part or on the part of its adversaries.

In that vein, Iran tested a ballistic missile on Oct. 10, just months after reaching an agreement on its nuclear program, in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. In December, an Iranian military ship fired a missile near American and French vessels in international waters. Even since signing the nuclear accord, the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has defended the country’s ubiquitous slogan “Death to America.”

Recent Comments
American 22 hours ago

Mr. Saudi ambassador should be ashamed of himself. The question really is: Can Saudi Arabia change. Iran is better than Saudi Arabia in...
D. R. Van Renen 22 hours ago

Can Saudi Arabia change by ending dependence on oil the source of Global Warming, beheadings by the dozen, and the terrorist bombing of...
M 22 hours ago

It's stupid how the whole world crying about Al-Nimr and say nothing about the whole terrorism done by Iran since 1979.. The west's problem...

    See All Comments

Saudi Arabia will not allow Iran to undermine our security or the security of our allies. We will push back against attempts to do so.

In an outlandish lie, Iran maligns and offends all Saudis by saying that my nation, home of the two holy mosques, brainwashes people to spread extremism. We are not the country designated a state sponsor of terrorism; Iran is. We are not the nation under international sanctions for supporting terrorism; Iran is. We are not the nation whose officials are on terrorism lists; Iran is. We don’t have an agent sentenced to jail for 25 years by a New York federal court for plotting to assassinate an ambassador in Washington in 2011; Iran does.

Saudi Arabia has been a victim of terrorism, often at the hands of Iran’s allies. Our country is on the front line of fighting terrorism, working closely with our allies. Saudi Arabia has arrested thousands of terrorism suspects and prosecuted hundreds. Our fight against terrorism is continuing as we lead multinational efforts to pursue those who participate in terrorist activities, those who fund them and those who foment the mind-set that promotes extremism.

The real question is whether Iran wants to live by the rules of the international system, or remain a revolutionary state committed to expansion and to defiance of international law. In the end, we want an Iran that works to solve problems in a way that allows people to live in peace. But that will require major changes in Iran’s policy and behavior. We have yet to see that.

Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir is the foreign minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The Big Search to Find Out Where Dogs Come From on: January 20, 2016, 01:58:29 PM
234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris: Trump is making some mistakes on: January 20, 2016, 01:55:21 PM
235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Reality bitch slaps Thomas Friedman on: January 20, 2016, 01:40:04 PM
ZURICH — Just get me talking about the world today and I can pretty well ruin any dinner party. I don’t mean to, but I find it hard not to look around and wonder whether the recent turmoil in international markets isn’t just the product of tremors but rather of seismic shifts in the foundational pillars of the global system, with highly unpredictable consequences.

What if a bunch of eras are ending all at once?

What if we’re at the end of the 30-plus-year era of high growth in China, and therefore China’s ability to fuel global growth through its imports, exports and purchases of commodities will be much less frothy and reliable in the future?
Thomas L. Friedman

“Now that this debt bubble is unwinding, growth in China is going offline,” Michael Pento, president of Pento Portfolio Strategies, wrote on last week. “The renminbi’s falling value, cascading Shanghai equity prices (down 40 percent since June 2014) and plummeting rail freight volumes (down 10.5 percent year over year) all clearly illustrate that China is not growing at the promulgated 7 percent, but rather isn’t growing at all. The problem is that China accounted for 34 percent of global growth, and the nation’s multiplier effect on emerging markets takes that number to over 50 percent.”

What if the $100-a-barrel oil price era is over and all these countries whose economies were directly or indirectly propped up by those prices will have to learn to grow the old-fashioned way — by making goods and services others want to buy? Thanks to steady technological advances in America for fracking, horizontal drilling and using big data to identify deposits, OPEC’s pricing power has disappeared. Countries that have set their budgets based on $80- to $100-a-barrel oil will find themselves vastly underfunded just when their populations — in places like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Indonesia and Venezuela — have surged.

What if average is over for countries? During the Cold War you could be an average, newly independent state with artificial borders drawn by colonial powers. There were two superpowers ready to throw foreign aid at you, educate your kids in America or Moscow, build up your armed forces and security services and buy your crummy manufactured exports or commodities.

But what if the rise of robots, software and automation mean that these countries can’t rely on manufacturing to create mass labor anymore, that the products they can make and sell can’t compete with Chinese goods, that climate change is pressuring their ecosystems and that neither Russia nor America wants to have anything to do with them because all either wins is a bill?

Many of these frail, artificial states don’t correspond to any ethnic, cultural, linguistic or demographic realities. They are caravan homes in a trailer park — built on slabs of concrete without real foundations or basements — and what you’re seeing today with the acceleration of technology, climate change stresses and globalization is the equivalent of a tornado going through a trailer park. Some of these states are just falling apart, and many of their people are now trying to cross the Mediterranean — to escape their world of disorder and get into the world of order, particularly the European Union.

Continue reading the main story

Continue reading the main story

But what if the E.U. era is over? Reuters reported this week that Germany is telling other E.U. countries that if they don’t prevent the influx of more refugees into Europe from the Mediterranean and “relieve Berlin of the lonely task of housing refugees, Germany could shut its doors.” Some Germans even want a border fence. One senior conservative was quoted as saying, “If you build a fence, it’s the end of Europe as we know it.”

What if the era of Iranian isolation is over, just as the Arab system is collapsing and the two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians is history? How will all those molecules interact?
Continue reading the main story
Recent Comments
Susan Anderson Just now

Bernie Sanders is not "far left". His solutions are pragmatic and overdue.He's not much different from Hillary, just comes from a more...
Richard 5 minutes ago

We can't blame Trump for advocating far-right policies. So far, he hasn't articulated any policies at all. He just says he's going to...
Percy 5 minutes ago

I think Mr. Friedman is sending out the subliminal message that he wants to be the Republican (or independent) candidate for president.

    See All Comments Write a comment

And what if all this is happening when the two-party system in America seems to be getting most of its energy from the far left and the far right? Bernie Sanders’s platform is that we can solve our most onerous economic problems if we just tax “The Man” more. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are running on the theme that they are “The Man” — the strongman — who can magically fix everything.

What if our 2016 election ends up being between a socialist and a borderline fascist — ideas that died in 1989 and 1945 respectively?
Continue reading the main story
Sign Up for the Opinion Today Newsletter

Every weekday, get thought-provoking commentary from Op-Ed columnists, The Times editorial board and contributing writers from around the world.

And what if all of this is happening at a time when our government’s ability to stimulate the economy through either monetary or fiscal policy is constrained? Unless we go to negative interest rates, the best the Fed can do now is rescind the tiny rate hike made in December. Meanwhile, after all the vital government spending to stimulate demand after the 2008 crisis, there is no consensus in the country for another big round.

These what-ifs constitute the real policy landscape that will confront the next president. But here’s the worst “what if”: What if we’re having a presidential election but no one is even asking these questions, let alone “what if” all of these tectonic plates move at once? How will we generate growth, jobs, security and resilience?

There’s still an opportunity for someone to lead by asking, and answering, all of these “what ifs,” but that time is quickly coming to an end, just like the last dinner party I ruined.
236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Collateral damage on: January 20, 2016, 01:33:28 PM
237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTH: Fading factories weigh an already slowing economy on: January 20, 2016, 01:26:12 PM
238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Fast and Furious 50 cal found at El Chapo's hideout on: January 20, 2016, 11:10:09 AM
239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Legal fees awarded heh heh on: January 20, 2016, 12:36:14 AM
240  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / The old GMs in search of heirs on: January 20, 2016, 12:01:59 AM
241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "We can't just drill our way to lower gas prices" on: January 19, 2016, 11:58:48 PM
242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The calls for help that went unanswered before the 9/11 attack on: January 19, 2016, 11:56:36 PM
243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The noose tightens a bit more , , , 6.5 on: January 19, 2016, 06:46:10 PM
Hillary's Email Scandal Turns Deadly
Published on on January 19, 2016
Two recent developments have transformed Hillary's email scandal into a potentially deadly issue.

Yesterday, the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community wrote to Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to inform him that he had received "two sworn declarations from one [intelligence community] element. These declarations cover several dozen emails containing classified information determined by the IC element to be at the confidential, secret, and top secret/sap levels. According to the declarant, these documents contain information derived from classified IC element sources."

SAP (special access program) is a designation that is even more secret than "top secret."  Fox News explains that "Access to a SAP is restricted to those with a "need-to-know" because exposure of the intelligence would likely reveal the source, putting a method of intelligence collection -- or a human asset -- at risk."

At the moment, about 1,340 emails that went to or from Secretary Clinton contained material the State Department deems to be "classified."  Hillary says they were not classified when she got or sent them and that their classification is only retroactive.  Her critics say she should have recognized them as classified and labelled them so herself, which she is authorized to do.

But the fact that she also sent or received SAP material is an even more significant breech of intelligence protocol.

This disclosure comes on top of the revelation last week that the FBI is now expanding its investigation of the e mails to include evidence of possible corruption at the Clinton Foundation and in the events surrounding the speaking fees earned by the Clintons.

Together, these new revelations, both by Fox News, indicate that the danger for Secretary Clinton has escalated and that the FBI investigation is coming closer to home.
244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Saudis threaten to match Iran's nukes on: January 19, 2016, 06:41:13 PM
245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security, Border Protection, and American Freedom on: January 19, 2016, 06:27:26 PM
And thus our Search for Truth takes a step forward! 

246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Executive Privilege on Operation Fast and Furious overruled by Fed judge on: January 19, 2016, 06:25:18 PM
247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / ISIS is not the problem on: January 19, 2016, 04:03:56 PM
248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Some Muslim resistance to Jihadi in London on: January 19, 2016, 02:05:17 PM
249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Extraterritorial kidnappings of opponents of regime on: January 19, 2016, 01:44:49 PM
250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris: It is becoming a two way race on: January 19, 2016, 01:40:36 PM
Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6 7 ... 716
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!